A new study, published in the July issue of Advances in Therapy, revealed that a novel saw palmetto extract (SPE), SPET-085, is as effective as finasteride, the standard prescription drug therapy, in blocking the critical enzyme that leads to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
BPH, also known as an enlarged prostate, is the most common benign proliferative disorder in men, affecting more than 50 percent of men over the age of 70. Symptoms include urinary hesitancy, weak urine stream, nocturia, incontinence, and recurrent urinary tract infections.
The study, sponsored by Euromed, makers of SPET-085, evaluated the in-vitro potency of SPET-085, an inhibitor of the 5alpha-reductase isoenzyme type II, in a cell-free test system. It revealed that SPET-085 can effectively inhibit the enzyme linked to BPH, at a lower dose as compared to hexane extracts of saw palmetto, currently regarded as the most clinically effective saw palmetto, but unavailable in the United States. Importantly, the study revealed that SPET-085 has bioactivity similar to finasteride, the most commonly prescribed prescription medicine for the treatment of BPH. Common finasteride side effects may include decreased sex drive, impotence, or decreased ejaculate amount.
"I look forward to seeing if these interesting results in the laboratory translate into better patient outcomes in the National Institutes of Health-funded CAMUS study, an ongoing 18 month clinical trial comparing this saw palmetto supplement against a placebo for urinary symptoms attributed to benign prostatic enlargement," said Michael J. Barry, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.
While finasteride is currently the most common treatment for BPH, SPEs provide a more natural phytotherapeutic alternative to manage symptoms of the condition. There are many types of SPEs available today, based on a variety of extraction processes. This study demonstrates that the approach to extraction may impact levels of BPH-related bioactivity among the various extracts of saw palmetto.
"The results of this study verify the high activity of our novel saw palmetto extract, SPET-085, to help maintain healthy prostate function," said Joe Veilleux, General Manager, Euromed USA. "Euromed is committed to ongoing clinical research to provide scientific evidence which will differentiate SPET-085 from other saw palmetto extracts."